Mara Baldwin has been the acting director of the Handwerker Gallery for the past year and she has just been selected to be the permanent occupant of that position. She is the first non-faculty director and without professorial duties to take up her time, the programming at the gallery will expand. The current exhibit, “Marcellus Shale Documentary Project,” shows the work of six photographers who have recorded different aspects of natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania.
Bryan VanCampen is the film and theatre critic for the Ithaca Times, something he has been doing for 20 years now. He recently previewed the coming season at Cornell Cinema and rounded up and summarized the missions of the various community theatre troupes in town. We’ll ask him about that and perhaps we’ll get around to what is new at the movies as the “silly season” draws to a close.
Thomas Knipe is a senior planner and the tourism coordinator for Tompkins County. As such he in charge of the comprehensive plan for strategic planning in tourism. The public review of the plan has just been completed and it will now go through committee and then to the legislature for approval and adoption.
Mary Ann Sumner and Linda Lavine, Democratic candidates for Dryden supervisor and town council, respectively address some of the assertions made by Republican candidates Bruno Schickel and Deb Shigley on our previous broadcast. The primary issue by far in Dryden is the ban on heavily industry that effectively precluding gas drilling with hydraulic fracturing. Republicans also contended that the incumbent officials were over-spending on planning.
Our guest this week are Bruno Schickel, the Republican and Independence Party candidate for supervisor of the Town of Dryden, and Deb Shigley, who is a candidate for the town council with the same party affiliation. Jim Drew, the other candidate on the slate was not able to make it.
The Republican candidates assert that the Democratically controlled town government is over-spending on a number of fronts, depleting the towns “savings account” and that it is pushing for a zoning law that will be oppressive to the residents and hinder development. The Republicans also oppose the new zoning law that bans heavy industry in the town, effectively barring hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction.
The Democratic candidates are due to appear on our November 6 broadcast.
Kai Schafft, a professor of rural sociology at Pennsylvania State University, has completed an extensive survey of schools in small towns in the region of Pennsylvania that is experiencing build out related to natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale. He and his team had expected to see an influx of children into the school, but gas industry workers do not bring their families with them when they come to the state to work. Many schools own land and have leased it, giving them an income through signing bonuses and royalties, but it does not make up for the cuts to schools in the state budget. Schafft has not finished analysis of the data yet. We will talk about preliminary observations.
Schafft is the director of the Center on Rural Education and Communities.
Dennis Hartley, who with Anna Steinkraus, owns Littletree Orchard in Newfield, will fill us in on the business of apple growing and apple selling. The harvest began in late August and will continue into October. Littletree is one of the vendors at the downtown Apple Harvest Festival on the weekend of September 30 through October 2. They grow a wide variety of apples including some older types that few other people grow around here.
Joe Wilson of DRAC (Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition) will describe the recent suit brought against the Town of Dryden by Anshutz Exploration Company, a Denver-based natural gas driller. The Town of Dryden recently passed an addition to their zoning ordinance that forbade heavy industrial activity, including hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, in the town.
Don Barber, the supervisor of the Town of Caroline, will visit us again to fill us in on the divide in the town council over how to respond to the imminent advent of gas drilling in the town. In June three members of the council proposed a law that would have forbade the town government from taking action against drilling, but it was tabled. At the July 5 and July 12 meetings of the council the discussion was revisited.
Ron Szcymanski, a member of the planning board in the Village of Freeville, will give us his thoughts on hydraulic fracturing and its potential effect on his rural community. The Dryden town council has amended its zoning ordinance to forbid large scale industrial development in Dryden, but it is likely to face legal challenge from New York State and/or gas companies holding leases in the town.Recent similar actions by the towns of Ulysses and Ithaca open them up to the same challenges.
Next show: Sunday, August 7, 6 p.m.